Randal Birkey created this line drawing of a Corinthian style Greek column, as a diagram for a book on architecture.The original was done by hand with Rapidograph ink pens on drafting mylar film using architectural drafting techniques.
Randal Birkey was commissioned to render an updated design for the Citibank branch location in Oakbrook, Illinois. The perspective view below was developed from architectural blueprints using 3D modeling software on an Apple Macintosh computer. The perspective view was converted to 2D and transferred to watercolor illustration board. The final art was hand inked using sepia ink in Rapidograph pens, then completed with Windsor & Newton watercolor washes.
I did this pen and ink illustration of the 111 N. Canal Building in 1994 as it was slated to be renovated. The image was to be used as a sort of “icon” for the project. Today, I park my motorcycle in front of this building on some of the days I ride it downtown to work!
This site plan map was done for Lipman-Hearne, a Chicago design firm that was designing print materials for a residential development for Pacific-Sakata, in the 1980’s. The development was called Falling Water, similar to the name of a famous Frank Lloyd Wright house in Pennsylvania. The design firm entered the printed piece in a design contest and won a design award. The illustration is pen and ink line art on illustration board and shaded with color pencil.
Randal was looking through some “pen and ink” art books and decided to try his hand sketching a man in one of the books. This sketch was done 20 to 25 years ago and probably took about 2-3 minutes to complete. That’s really the whole idea. Just do it – quick, sketchy, loose, free… and know when to stop! The original was done with a fountain type pen with sepia ink on white “trash” paper. For some reason this guy looks like G.K. Chesterton.
I’ve done so many map illustrations in my career, I’ve lost count. Many of them are of the Chicago area. The one on the left I did in 1995 of the Chicago area, featuring all the main Interstate highways, Lake Michigan, the outline of Chicago and border counties. It was done in color pencil, probably on 100% rag drawing vellum. I just found it looking through archives on my hard drive.
The other one is an aerial map done in the same color pencil style. I did it for myself initially, then Rand McNally found it on my BIRKEY.COM portfolio website, and used it on the cover of their Chicago Streetfinder Map edition. The University of Chicago also found it on my portfolio site and used it for an event poster.
Deb and I got married in 1980, and settled in Oak Park quite by chance. We really did not know much about the community and its history at the time. In those early years, we discovered the Frank Lloyd Wright connection and became fascinated by his designs. This is a pen and ink drawing I did of the Frank Thomas House still standing at 210 Forest Avenue.